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Citing Sources on Note Cards in MLA


Writers in the liberal arts and humanities draw upon a wide range of sources. Sometimes writers collect the material on note cards as a way of keeping the information organized. According to the seventh edition of "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers," personal notes recorded in any form, whether on note cards or not, are cited in a specific way.

In-text Citation

As you examine your research materials, paraphrase important points on the card. If you wish to quote directly from the text, be sure to use quotation marks. After including information from a note card, place an in-text citation within parentheses. Insert the last name of the author of your source and page numbers where you found the information, if applicable, such as (Doe 12). If you mention the author's name in text, omit it from the parentheses.

Works Cited Page

You can also collect the bibliographical information for your Works Cited page on note cards. Each time you make note cards from a new resource, you should also record the bibliographical information on a card. The format of each entry varies, depending upon the type of source, such as book, journal article or electronic media. Use the appropriate MLA citation form for each reference. For instance, a book citation begins with the author's last name, a comma, first name and a period. Italicize the book title and add a period. Insert the city of publication, a colon, the publisher, a comma, the publication year and a period. Finish with the medium, such as "Print" without quotation marks and a period; for example: Doe, Jane. The Best Book. New York: Good Publishers, 2009. Print.

About the Author

Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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